Free Things to Do in Boston This Weekend

All the best free things to do, events, and more around Boston this weekend.

alan schaller

Photo copyright of Alan Schaller


Metropolis by Alan Schaller

Leica brand ambassador Alan Schaller snaps visually stunning photographs in urban landscapes, relying on unique forms and contrast to make his images pop in black and white. On view in January at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel’s Leica Gallery, Schaller’s Metropolis examines human interactions complicated by an increasingly urban and digital world. The multi-talented photographer is also an author, musician, and co-founder of the Street Photography International Collective, which highlights snapshots taken by burgeoning urban photographers.

Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Leica Gallery, 74 Arlington St., Boston.

Life Saver, 2017. Oil on linen, 20 x 30 inches

Andrew Fish: In the Memory Palace

It’s easy to get lost in Andrew Fish’s hauntingly familiar oil paintings, cast onto blurred linen canvases. After all, that’s the whole point. Fish’s paintings are a response to the fleeting nature of digital images in the modern world, and their propensity to disappear with the tap of a finger. In the Memory Palace harkens back to the older, slower forms of artwork—art that takes time and harbors frustrations, like oil paintings. In Fish’s works, on view through March, the figures and landscapes are made intentionally vague, extracting indistinct, long-buried memories from even the most stoic of viewers.

11 a.m.-5 p.m., Childs Gallery, 169 Newbury St., Boston.

Jessica Straus

Jessica Straus, TransAtlantic (detail), 2018 , Wood, paint & paper, Gallery-sized installation (dimensions variable)


Artist and Curator Talks

Plastered to the walls of the Boston Sculptor’s gallery is a 1940s-era map of the world, along which airplanes and ocean liners traverse in “TransAtlantic.” On Saturday, Straus will discuss her room-size installation, and how the piece’s conception is tied intimately to her own. Straus’ dialogue will be followed up by a talk with curator Katherine French, a close friend and student of the late sculptor David A. Lang, whose whimsical, wheeled and motorized exhibit Flights of Fancy is also on display.

2 p.m.-4 p.m., Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Ave., Boston.

Free Beginner Charleston Lessons

Make like silent film actress Bessie Love at Swing City this Saturday with Charleston dance lessons hosted by the Free Dance Studio. In just two hours, learn the footwork of this classic Roaring Twenties dance—from the cross-hand Charleston, to sailor kicks. After the workshop, head to the ballroom stage to practice your new moves—flapper dress not required!

6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Swing City, 680 Huron Ave., Cambridge.

Think With Passion

Through poetry slam, visual art, live music and other on-stage performances, members of YW Boston’s Youth Leadership Initiative will express their creativity, share their knowledge, and empower their peers in this youth program’s annual arts showcase. Come out and show your support for this wholly youth-led event, and sneak a peek into the passionate minds of the young leaders on stage at this social justice-themed arts slam.

6:30 p.m.-9 p.m., More Than Words Bookstore, 242 East Berkeley St., 2nd Floor, Boston.


Despite its location in an abandoned rum warehouse in South Boston, the Distillery is not the scene for a boozy night-out. Instead, it’s a collaboration of artists and small businesses, with a gallery space reserved for engaging art exhibits. This weekend, the gallery will host the opening reception for THERE IS NO BAND, an exhibit that seeks a feminine-focused reality through the examination of ritual practice and artistic tension. Together, the exhibit’s four female-identifying artists refer to themselves as an interconnected “coven.”

Opening reception, 7 p.m.-10 p.m., Distillery Gallery, 516 East 2nd St., South Boston.

Photo courtesy of the Brookline Arts Center


Snowflake Festival

Join the faculty of the all-inclusive Brookline Arts Center for a day full of hot chocolate and creativity. Watch a live ceramic sculpting demo, make your own jewelry, or try your hand at mixed media art or a 3D sculpture. While you’re there, check out the BAC’s gallery, and jam along to songs with children’s musician Hugh Hanley. With a winter time theme and an endless assortment of crafts and activities, there’s something for everyone to create at the Snowflake Festival this year.

1 p.m.-3 p.m., Brookline Arts Center, 86 Monmouth St., Brookline.

Free Community Chamber Concert

This season, Jamaica Plain’s century-old Curtis Hall will host one of Boston Symphony Orchestra’s eleven free community concerts. After an hour long performance featuring Juan Pablo Jofre’s “Tangodromo” and Antonín Dvorák’s “String Sextet in A,” audience guests will convene for a coffee and dessert reception.

3 p.m., Curtis Hall Community Center, 20 South St., Jamaica Plain.

Italian Movie Night

Join Cambridge’s Dante Alighieri Society for a cozy evening of contemporary Italian movies such as Mia Madre (My Mother) and Tutto quello che vuoi (Everything You Want), followed by a discussion of the changing social and family structures in Italian culture. Practice your foreign language skills, munch on popcorn, and settle in for a night of movies on the big screen.

5 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts, 41 Hampshire St., Cambridge.